A start-up which aims to ‘reinvent cancer research’ has secured £1.6million in funding from a group of Scottish investors as it seeks to accelerate the commercialization of its medical technology.
The money will allow Edinburgh-based Carcinotech to expand its commercial partnerships in Europe and North America, where it already works with organizations such as Cancer Research UK, major pharmaceutical groups and a clinical research organization (CRO ) based in the United States. The company is also creating several new scientific and commercial jobs that will increase its workforce from four to more than 10 by next year.
The funding round was led by border-based investment syndicate Tricapital, alongside Eos Advisory, SIS Ventures, Gabriel Investments, Alba Equity and Scottish Enterprise. It follows a £130,000 seed funding round in September 2020 from Gabriel.
Based on the research of Founder and CEO Ishani Malhotra, Carcinotech manufactures 3D printers used to create tumors from cancer stem cells, primary cells and established cell lines. These tumors are used in drug screening and clinical trials to help speed the development of new cancer treatments.
A graduate of the University of Edinburgh and Harvard Medical School, Ms Malhotra set up Carcinotech in July 2018. The company is based at the Roslin Innovation Center on the outskirts of Edinburgh.
READ MORE: Scottish laser company Chromacity strikes new partnership to boost sales in France
“Our next phase of growth will be building international partnerships, growing the team and appointing a scientific advisory board to support the work of the lead board,” she said.
“Carcinotech’s in vitro models are very close to clinical biopsy specimens because we use patient-specific cells and cells isolated from biopsies, allowing us to develop models representing cancer heterogeneity.
Originally founded in 2004 as Tweed Renaissance Investors Capital, Tricapital is led by managing partner Moray Martin. Its portfolio includes a number of life science companies such as Ten Bio, Aurum Biosciences, Fios Genomics and NovaBiotics.
“Carcinotech is one of the most exciting start-ups to emerge from the Scottish life sciences sector in recent times,” said Mr Martin. “We can already see traction and momentum, and we look forward to actively supporting Ishani and his team as they continue to evolve.”
St Andrews-based Eos Advisory is also active in the sector, having partnered with US-based Kineticos Life Sciences last year to co-invest in Scottish companies working in oncology.
READ MORE: Glasgow company eyeing ophthalmology market
“Ishani and her team have developed pioneering oncology biotechnology with the potential to have a significant impact on discovery screening and preclinical testing,” said partner Ana Stewart. “This is exactly the kind of high-impact business that Eos aims to support.”
Siobhan Moore, Chief Investment Officer at SIS Ventures, added, “Carcinotech is a truly innovative company whose mission is to provide accessible and personalized medical tests to people with cancer, thereby improving their chances of survival.
“Based in Scotland but with global ambitions, Carcinotech aligns perfectly with our goal of supporting disruptive businesses with high potential for growth and impact.”
The company is chaired by Albert Nicholl, who was UK director of US multinational medical technology company Stryker before taking over as CEO of US rival Orthofix. He now advises various start-up companies in the medical technology and life sciences sectors.
“Scotland has a world-renowned track record in oncology R&D, and it’s great to see Carcinotech making an impression in international markets,” said Mr Nicholl. “Ishani and his team are now well positioned to scale up their business in Europe and North America, and it is great for the company to do so with such a supportive group of investors. »